UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — One month prior to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s expected budget address, state legislators await answers how the state will overcome an estimated $6.1 billion budget gap for the 2021 Fiscal Year.
The deficit was identified in the New York State Division of the Budget’s “mid-year update” for FY 2020.
“It’s extremely frustrating and will be very challenging.”Sen. Joe Griffo, (R-47th District) NYS Senate Deputy Minority Leader
“It’s devastating.”Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-119th District) Freshman Member, NYS Assembly
State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon expressed disappointment in the report’s findings, which also notes the state’s estimated budget gap for FY 2022 will hit $7.5 billion, and $8.5 billion in 2023.
For the upcoming spending calendar year, the NYSDOB identifies that the lion’s share of the deficit is from Medicaid.
“We’re having a shortfall in Medicaid because, number one, the cost to minimum wage has driven up costs. Number two, the federal government is not being supportive of these programs the way they have been in the past…’ ‘…we also expanded programs to take care of folks in rural areas,” New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul told Eyewitness News.
The mid-year update points out how the fiscal gap may be initially amended:
“Savings may include across the board reductions in rates paid to providers and health plans, reductions in discretionary payments, and other actions that can be executed administratively in the current fiscal year”
Eyewitness News asked Sen. Griffo how Medicaid cuts might impact those needing health care or providers.
“That remains to be seen, because the department of health will make some suggestions and put forth ideas that will be under, both consideration within the executive, as well as the legislative,” Griffo said.
To address the budget’s financial canyon, Assemblywoman Buttenschon says the next step is “to identify the importance of looking at what processes might have to be modified. We do not want health facilities not being able to provide the care. We want to determine how we can better look at the process to help recalculate it.”
Governor Cuomo is likely to deliver his FY 2021 budget address in January.